Tag Archives: peas

Crops in the ground

As much fun as it is to sow seed and dream about the crops to come, there is something special about getting those first crops in the ground; it is the moment when all of that bare soil suddenly starts to look productive. We recently planted out the first rows of peas and the broad bean plants. This weekend we planted out the first lettuces and endive, chard and spinach, and a variety of brassicas. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we got our main crop onions, garlic, and shallots planted. Usually, we would have an autumn sown crop running along the side beds of the polytunnel, where they produce well, especially the garlic. As we did little in the garden last year, we are missing out on this crop, but have planted two beds outdoors from spring sown sorts. March is a good time of year to do this and we have been waiting for the last couple of weeks for the weather to turn; the weekend weather was good so we got this task done. It is quite a big job as some three hundred or so sets needed to go in. Continue reading

Sowing this week

There are all sorts of things that can be sown in February, including brassicas of various kinds, broad beans, hardy lettuces, and artichokes. Many seeds will germinate at temperatures of 5°C and above. Cold, wet soil, though, is not the place to do it. With some undercover space, the temperature will be better, so germination markedly improved in both reliability and speed, and the compost can be kept at a more suitable moisture level, so that seed or seedlings do not sit in the soil and rot before they can get started properly. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week was more about planting out than sowing. Here in a sheltered spot in the south, with the help of some warm walls, frosts in May are unusual, and rarely harsh. I am not ready, quite, to risk planting out the winter squash as they are a precious crop, not to mention that the bed is not ready for them yet, but the summer squash – courgettes, conventional and round, and patty pan – were planted out this week. Hopefully there will not be a late frost, but they can be resown if needed. Continue reading

Sowing this week

This week we started sowing more of the tender crops. We started with French bean Beurre de Rocquencourt, a dwarf wax bean bearing pale yellow pods. Whilst the outdoor crop of climbing French and runner beans will provide a heavy crop over a long period, they take some time to develop. A dwarf bean will produce a crop rather more quickly as they do not need to put on so much vegetative growth before they bear. I am hoping to find some space in the polytunnel for our first crop, which might also help a little. I could, perhaps, have sown a couple of weeks ago, but beans are tender and there is still a possibility of a frost, even in the polytunnel. I sowed in pots, several seeds to each, rather than direct, as I sometimes do with beans later in the year. In pots they are easier to protect from the cold and from pests. Continue reading

Seed list 2014 – part 4 – peas and beans

I am very fond of legumes of various sorts. Peas and broad beans are one of the great treats of the early season. Although they freeze well, growing enough for freezing needs a great deal of space and a lot of effort for picking and shelling. I prefer, instead, to eat them as a seasonal treat so do not grow an excessive quantity. Out of their peak season in early summer there are plenty of other crops to enjoy. Later in the year, French and runner beans are one of our staples. We grow beans for use fresh as well as shelling sorts for drying for winter use, but CT is not very keen on the dried beans. Continue reading

Sowing continues

This weekend we avoided the gloomy weather and made more under cover sowings. Down the centre of our polytunnel is a four foot wide bed, which we use for general planting of crops including beans, peas, sweetcorn, saladings, and so on. At this time of year, it is warm enough, especially under cover, to make some early sowings of root crops, provided suitable varieties are selected. The bed was prepared by a little weeding and a light forking, followed by the application of a couple of handfuls of fish, blood and bone, which was lightly raked in. No manure was added, as root crops respond to too rich a rich soil by forking. Four foot drills were made across the bed. These were watered thoroughly before sowing. This bed had not been watered for some time, and it is amazing how much water is required to properly penetrate the soil. Continue reading

Sowing overwintering crops

Polytunnel cleared of autumn crops and ready for overwintering

I am generally rather bad at sowing for the late winter, and keeping such things as winter saladings growing, and I really need to improve that if we are to get diverse produce all year round. The polytunnel certainly makes it easier at this time of year, when outdoors it is becoming rather cold and miserable; the polytunnel can still be very warm even on cloudy, windy, and rainy November days. Although I have not bothered too much about general winter crops – I am bogged down with some house renovations at the moment – there are some vegetables that are ideally sown in the autumn for late spring harvests: peas, broad beans, Japanese onions, shallots, and garlic. Continue reading

Beans, beans, and more beans

Tackling the weeds

Today was a hard one. One of the two beds designated for legumes in this rotation was previously home to overwintered leeks. The remaining few had thrown up a flower spike and the rest of the bed had become overgrown with weeds. Fortunately, most of the weeds were shallow rooted and readily pulled out – helped by the loose soil that comes from these lightly cultivated beds. They seem barely compacted by the winter and spring rains, and need little more than a light raking to prepare for sowing. Continue reading